Call for Submissions for Annual Online Symposium

As part of its fourth annual Online Symposium, the Virginia Law Review (VLROnline, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Race and Law, will be publishing pieces and hosting Zoom-based panel discussions on “From the Equal Rights Amendment to Black Lives Matter: Reflections on Intersectional Struggles for Equality.” 

The first Equal Rights Amendment was drafted by the National Women’s Party in 1921 to enshrine equality for women in the Constitution. Fifty-one years later, the Equal Rights Amendment won the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives and passed the Senate.  In 2020, Virginia became the thirty-eighth state to vote in favor of the ERA, but whether the ERA has accordingly been ratified remains politically and legally contested. 

Since 2013, Black Lives Matter has been a global social movement advocating against anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence, including but not limited to police brutality against Black men and women.  The movement has attracted broad participation by non-Black activists and lawmakers following the police murder of George Floyd.

During this Symposium, we hope to explore the intersectional underpinnings of these—and other—race and sex (including LGBTQ+) equality movements, the contributions of activists with intersectional identities or experiences, and the potential role of intersectional theories or understandings in informing future efforts to advance race and sex equality. We envision submissions on a wide range of topics including sex equality, racial justice, immigration, disability, economic inequality, and others. The specific themes of each panel will be determined based on the topics of accepted submissions. 

Length: Pieces published as part of VLR Online‘s Symposia are lightly-footnoted and generally between 4,000 and 6,000 words in length. VLR Online will not accept submissions longer than 8,000 words unless the author has requested and been granted an exception by the Online Development Editor (Katharine Janes, prior to submission. Non-student submissions may be submitted in abstract, as opposed to full manuscript, format if the author desires. However, VLR Online prefers full-length submissions and will judge completed pieces more favorably than partial submissions. 

Deadline: All pieces must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2020. Extensions may be granted at the discretion of the Online Development Editor upon request. Selection of pieces for publication will only occur after the submission deadline.  We request that authors whose pieces are accepted for publication present on one of the Zoom panels on January 29, 2021. 

Format: We only accept electronic submissions to VLR Online. Submissions by anyone other than UVA Law students should be sent by e-mail to in Microsoft Word format. The subject line of the email should read “VLR Online Symposium Submission.” Submissions should be in Times 11 or a larger sized font, should use footnotes instead of endnotes, and should have numbered pages. All submissions must include:

1. A cover letter, which should prominently feature the following:

  • The title of the manuscript,
  • An e-mail address (required for acknowledging receipt of submissions),
  • A mailing address,
  • A daytime telephone number, and
  • A word count for the manuscript (including footnotes).

The cover letter should also explain briefly why the submission is topical and important or why it would constitute a novel and useful contribution to the relevant literature.

2. A copy of the manuscript, and

3. The author’s most recent resume or C.V. University of Virginia School of Law students need not provide a resume, as their submissions will be pooled anonymously. 

UVA Law Student Submissions: Students whose pieces are accepted for publication will be extended invitations to join the Virginia Law Review. If you are a current student or recent graduate (within one year) of the University of Virginia School of Law, submissions must be emailed to in .docx format. The document must abide by these guidelines:

1. The document should include cover page, which should contain the following:

  • The title of the piece,
  • An abstract of 250 words or less,
  • A table of contents, and
  • A word count for the piece, both with and without footnotes.

Though not required, it may also be helpful for the abstract to explain why the submission addresses an issue that is topical and important.

2. The file must be the [Piece Title], and the subject line of the email must be Online Symposium Student Submission.

3. Any identifying information must be removed from the body of the document as well as the personal information embedded in the digital file by following the instructions below. This includes removing identifying information typically included at the beginning of a Note in a * footnote, such as class information, Online Advisors, or professors that assisted in the drafting and editing of the piece. Correctly following all instructions will maintain each author’s anonymity.

  • Word 2010, 2013, 2016: Go to File, select “Info”, click on Check for Issues”, click on “Inspect Document”. In the dialog box, click “Remove All” and close box. Save document.
  • Word for Mac 2016, 2018: Go to Tools, select “Protect Document” or select “Protect Document” button on Review tab. Save document.

In addition to the document above, all submissions must include the following information in a separate document , which is to be attached to the same email in .pdf format. The PDF should be titled “[Piece Title].Confidential”. This separate document should be a single page and include:

  • Your name, phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address;
  • The title of your submission;
  • A signed statement (an electronic signature will be accepted) that your piece was substantially written during law school; and
  • The name(s) of any professor(s) with whom you worked when writing your piece. 

Symposium Date: The author panels will be part of a half-day Zoom symposium hosted by the Center for the Study of Race and Law and VLR on Friday, January 29, 2021.